Grocery shopping is something we all do, whether we stock up for the week online, at a farmer's market, or at a major supermarket. Shoppers who choose the latter in particular have their loyalties in terms of where they buy their groceries, depending on which chain they trust to have the food items they want at a fair price and with good customer service. Unfortunately, according to a recent Axios Harris Poll, some of the biggest brands in the grocery game don't have the best reputations among consumers. Looking at their data, Best Life set out to find the least trusted grocery chain included on a list of the 100 most recognizable companies in the country.
The Axios Harris Poll 100, based on an annual survey of 42,935 Americans, uses a two-step process to rank the reputations of some of biggest brands in the U.S. First, the survey determined the public's "top-of-mind awareness of companies that either excel or falter in society," deeming them the 100 "most visible companies." These companies were then rated by a second group of Americans using seven key dimensions of reputation—affinity, ethics, growth, products/service, citizenship, vision, and culture. The brands were scored on a 100-point scale where the lower the score meant the poorer the reputation.
From the 100 brands ranked, which included everything from media companies to wireless carriers, we picked out the six grocery chains on the list and ranked them from highest score to lowest, AKA the best reputation to worst. Read on to see how your top choice scored, from most trusted to least trusted.
Reputation score (out of 100): 80.1
This warehouse value giant—known just as well for its grocery offerings as it is for its affordable electronics—had the highest reputation score of all the grocery chains on Axios' list of the 100 most visible companies.
In addition to an overall score of 80.1, which is considered "excellent," Costco scored high marks across the board, especially in the culture category, earning an 88.1, the third highest score in that category out of all 100 companies on the list.
Reputation score (out of 100): 79.2
This stalwart of the grocery store segment came in just behind Costco, and while its overall reputation score of 79.2 wasn't quite enough to land the chain in the "excellent" category, it is still considered "very good" by the poll's standards.
That said, Wegmans did slip a bit in the overall ranking, dropping from No. 6 last year to No. 13 this year.
Reputation score (out of 100): 78.2
Publix also received a "very good" overall reputation score of 78.2, but also dropped from No. 4 last year to No. 23 this year.
Publix's worst score of all the seven pillars each company was rated on was in the citizenship category where it earned a 74.6, which is still considered to be a "good" score in the poll's parameters.
Reputation score (out of 100): 77.5
Another "very good" score for a grocery chain that has stood the test of time. Kroger ranked No. 30 out of all 100 companies—down 21 spots from last year when it came in at No. 9—and it locked in the fourth spot on our list of six grocery chains.
Like Publix, Kroger's lowest score (74.2, which is still considered "good") came in the citizenship category.
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Reputation score (out of 100): 76.0
Target is the last brand on this list whose overall reputation score meets the criteria to be considered "very good." And it's also the first on the list to climb the ranks from last year. In 2020, Target found itself ranked No. 51 out of all 100 companies, but in 2021, the bullseye brand jumped up 10 spots to No. 41.
Reputation score (out of 100): 69.7
Coming in last place among the grocery chains on Axios' list is Walmart. While the retail and grocery giant's overall reputation score is high enough to be considered "fair" by the poll, it is low enough to earn last place on our list, coming in at No. 83 out of all 100 companies.
According to the poll's results, culture is where Walmart needs to make its biggest strides to improve, as the company scored a 64.5 in that category, which is considered "poor."
On a positive note, the company did jump up two spots from last year's overall reputation, when it ranked at No. 85.